Mark's Musings

A miscellany of thoughts and opinions from an unimportant small town politician and bit-part web developer

Government domains update

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I blogged a little while ago about the rather bizarre situation whereby neither the government nor their domain registrars were willing to tell us which government domains had been registered. In that post, I mentioned another FoI request that I’d sent which attempted to obtain the information via a different route.

Possibly as a result of this, it would appear that sanity has prevailed and the government has now published a full list of domains. You can download the list in csv format from the Cabinet Office website.

I’m still a little intrigued, though. The original refusal by JANET (the academic and government domain registry) to release the list was justified on the grounds that release of the material in full is considered to “present a risk to the commercial interests” of JANET’s customers. Now that we have the list, is there anything in there which might support such a view? Are there any domains which could be considered commercially sensitive? If so, which ones, and why? And why was JANET so determined not to release the list in the first place?

Update: I’ve taken the list of domains, put them in a database and added some meta-data about them (sourced from whois and DNS). You can see the results at